Small business lender, 365 Business Finance, has created a timeline detailing the appearance and disappearance of retail stores on the British High Street from 2008 to 2018.

The timeline serves to provide a visual depiction of a changing high street against the backdrop of recent media coverage of store closures.

The timeline lists 46 retailers; some old, some new – all at some point in time are or have been a household name. They have been grouped into five categories according to their concluding circumstance: ‘buy out’, ‘ceased trading’, ‘restructuring’, ‘clicks-to-bricks’ and ‘offline-online partnerships’. The list is by no means exhaustive, but through it we see how the landscape of the high street has changed over a 10-year period. As the timeline progresses we also see new retail players have made their mark on the high street with new business models and concepts.

Navigate through Recovery Road by scrolling or using the up and down arrow keys, to read each retailer’s story.


  • [2008] 54 large or medium retail chains went into administration, with 5,793 stores, employing a total of 74,539 [source]
  • [2009] 37 large or medium businesses failed with 6,536 store and 26,688 staff [source]
  • [2010] Nationally, 13% of shops were vacant, up from 12% in 2009 [source]
  • [2011] UK retail chains closed stores in this year at a rate of about 20 a day [source]
  • [2012] Online sales made up 9.3% of all retail sales [source]
  • [2013] High street vacancy rates fell to 15.1% by the end of 2013 [source]
  • [2008-2013] 30 per cent increase in the number of charity shops on the high street
  • [2013] There was a net loss of 264 fashion stores from our high street [source]
  • [2014-2017] The number of fast-food outlets on UK streets rose by 4,000 between mostly in deprived areas [source]
  • [2014-2017] High street vacancy rate 11% (percentage of empty premises) [source]
  • [2017] The UK’s high streets suffered 5,855 store closures, at a rate of 16 stores a day [source]
  • [2018] Online sales accounted for 21.5 per cent of the country’s total retail sales [source]
  • [2018] 21,355 retail workers being laid off in the first six months of 2018 alone [source]
  • [2018] 44 companies failed affecting 2,594 store and 46,014 employees [source]
  • [2018] High street chains experienced their worst December on record as store sales dropped 1.9% year-on-year, the sixth successive December to record negative sales growth [source]

Online – Offline

  • UK click and collect market is forecast to increase by 55.6% over the next five years [source]
  • Clothing & footwear will drive the click and collect channel, accounting for 61.2% of spend by 2022 [source]
  • On experiential shopping: A survey found that 78% of Gen Y respondents would rather spend money on an experience than a thing, and 77% say their best memories come from experiences [source]
  • 84% of shoppers expect technology in the store to create a better shopping experience [source]

The Future

  • By 2030 e-commerce will account for around 40% of all UK retail sales [source]
  • Between 2020 and 2030 half of the UK’s existing shop premises will have disappeared  [source]

About 365

365 Business Finance offers a merchant cash advance product to small and medium-sized businesses across the UK. Our finance products are designed as a fast and flexible finance solution for businesses that accept credit / and or debit sales.



Twitter: @365BizFinance

Linkedin: 365 Business Finance